Philosophy

Too many students leave dance because it no longer brings them joy. At Bliss, dance and joy coexist. I started Bliss Dance Space at the request of former students who wanted to feel the joy of dance again. I encourage dancers to explore the artform in a caring, supportive community. I believe that happy dancers start with happy teachers who love being at the studio with each other and with their students.

It is my philosophy that dance is an artform, the dancer is the artist, and movement is the medium. Every class, rehearsal and performance at BDS exemplifies the above philosophy. I teach safe, progressive warm-ups which concentrate on keeping dancers’ bodies healthy and strong by achieving proper technique. Students learn important kinesthetic and anatomic principles as they develop an appreciation for dance and explore their own creative processes. I want my students to follow their bliss and explore who they are and who they want to become. Individual attention is fundamental to executing this commitment.

Jennifer Taber-O’Neill M.A.

“My general formula for my students is 'Follow your bliss.' Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.” - Joseph Campbell

Vision

Bliss is dedicated to creating a safe, supportive community of happy human beings. To this end, we believe:

  • Dance is an artform, dancers are artists, and movement is their medium.

  • Dance should be a joy for students, teachers, and staff.

  • Anatomical knowledge helps to avoid injury.

  • Self-love, positive body image, and confidence is central to bliss.

Values

Bliss is dedicated to helping dancers find their true selves. Everything we do at Bliss aligns with the following values:

  • Respecting dancers as whole persons who flourish in meaningful connection with others.

  • Helping dancers to discover and develop their own strengths and gifts to do whatever they choose to do.

  • Teaching with compassion, respect, and care.

  • Allowing people to explore their own values through dance in a judgment-free environment.

  • Promoting belonging for everyone requires a culture of mutual respect free of bullying and favoritism.

 

Staff

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Jennifer Taber-O'Neill
Founder

Jennifer Taber-O’Neill is the founder of Bliss Dance Space. She holds an M.A. in Dance Education from Barat College and a Bachelor of Dance Arts from the University of Michigan where she studied Graham technique under Peter Sparling. She taught at St. Mary's University (where she helped create the dance minor), Winona State University, Lansing Community College, the College of Lake County, and created the dance program at Rochester Community & Technical College. Jennifer has taught at various conferences including the Midwest Cecchetti Ballet Workshop, the American College Dance Festival, and many more. Jennifer has taught at academies, and studios throughout the Midwest including Légere Dance Centre, Lake Forest Dance Academy, Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, LaCrosse Dance Center, Janet Lang, Allegro, and Zumbrota Dance Studios. While residing in New York Jennifer studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps on Broadway. She also created the dance program for the Children's Athletic Training School in Manhattan. At Allegro she was the education director, designed curriculum, co-created the pre-professional program, co-created Rochester Ensemble of Dance, and developed and taught the special needs program for children and adults. Jennifer has performed with numerous companies including Happendance, Revival Dance Company, and the Emily Berry Dance Company (now B3W) and choreographed pieces for local children's groups such as Bella Voce, Revival, and Children's Dance Theater. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and is certified in Cecchetti, Progressing Ballet Technique, Align Barre, and Aroha. Jennifer founded Bliss Dance Space in 2020 to create a supportive, nurturing dance community that encourages passion, self-esteem, and belonging through creative expression.

Danielle Anderson
Instructor

Danielle Anderson has been teaching classical ballet for over 14 years. She has taught beginning to advanced ballet classes at Allegro School of Dance and Music (Rochester), Janet Lang Dance Studio (Rochester) and Misty’s Dance Unlimited (Onalaska, WI). Danielle began dancing at the age of three and has been a lifelong student of the art of dance. Training includes multiple Rochester dance studios, Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Sarasota Ballet School in
Florida. Danielle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and master’s degree in business administration and works with the Mayo Clinic Health Systems laboratories. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, renovating her house, reading, and dancing, of course!

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Kathy Chase
Instructor

Kathy Chase began her artistic journey at Pat Peare’s School of Dance and Stage Arts in her hometown of Eagan, Minnesota. There she trained and competed in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and baton twirling. Kathy also was a performer and choreographer of a theatrical national touring company based out of Burnsville High School for a total run of eight years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Minor in Psychology at The College of St. Teresa in 1987. During college, she kickstarted her teaching career in Wabasha and Winona. Post graduation she relocated to the Twin Cities and taught at numerous dance schools and community programs including Burnsville Community Education, Eagan Park and Recreation, Minneapolis Park and Recreation, Zoe Sealy Dance Center, and at Continental Ballet School’s two locations. She also made her debut as a professional ballet dancer and a founding member of Riet Velthuisen’s Continental Ballet Company. Kathy moved to Rochester and started at Allegro School of Dance, Rochester Ballet School, and Kasson Ballet School. Simultaneously, she began choreographing musicals for high schools and community theatres in the area. Allegro and RBS merged, and Kathy became a full time faculty member. Over her thirty year run with ASDM, Kathy has been a devoted dance educator teaching ballet, tap, and jazz at all levels, as well as choreographing and running annual holiday shows, recitals, and overseeing the performance competition company. Currently, she is the acting choreographer for Immersion Youth Repertory. She is thrilled to start her new journey at Rochester’s Bliss Dance Space continuing on her legacy of keeping dance expressive and fun for all.

Caroline Crutcher
Instructor

Caroline fell in love with the magic and power dance at age 3 with Dance Connection and the rest is history! She then trained with Allegro School of Dance and Music where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and acro. Caroline has been involved as a performer, intern, rehearsal assistant, and choreographer in numerous productions through Allegro and their competition team, Rochester Ensemble of Dance, Children’s Dance Theater, and the Civic Theater. Caroline received scholarships and had the opportunity to perform and train internationally with the Blue Lake International Dance Ensemble in 2014 and 2017 where she lived with host families and was fully immersed into each city’s culture and community. Throughout this experience, she learned that dance is not only an artform, but it’s a universal language where you can communicate feelings and stories no matter who you’re with or where you are in the world! This was where Caroline truly developed her passion for the artistry of movement and loves being able to share that with others through teaching. She is Leap ‘N’ Learn and Acro Arts certified and has been teaching all genres of dance at Allegro for the past 2 years. Caroline is excited to start her new chapter and continue sharing her joy for dance with Bliss Dance Space!

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Myfanwy (Mowi) Postians
Instructor

Myfanwy (Mowi) Postians has studied dance for most of her life. She has been on faculty at Zumbrota Dance Studio for three years where she has distinguished herself as a choreographer, creating beautiful works for recital and winning routines for dance team and competition. She has created summer dance camps designed specifically for dance teams looking to improve technique and develop skills. Last year Mowi joined Bliss Dance Space where she teaches lyrical and jazz. It is her belief that every dancer can have fun while improving their technique, polishing their performance quality, and moving with friends. Mowi's passion for dance and learning is contagious and she cannot wait to see you in class.

Laura Watkins
Instructor

Laura Watkins (formerly Skold) was born and raised in West Des Moines, Iowa. She trained at School of Classical Ballet and Dance and performed with Ballet Des Moines before spending her final year of high school at the prestigious Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Laura earned her B.F.A. in Ballet from the University of Utah. She spent 1 season with Ballet Nebraska as an Apprentice before returning to the University of Utah to pursue a Master’s of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. While completing her masters she performed with Municipal Ballet Company and Mountain West Ballet. During summers, she trained at the School of American Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Colorado Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Laura has danced lead and soloist roles including Swanhilda and Dawn in Coppelia, a lead in Ma Cong’s Passion There, Summer Fairy in Cinderella, and featured roles in La Bayadere and Swan Lake. She has performed abroad in Seoul, South Korea and Zaragoza, Spain. Laura has been teaching dance for over 10 years and is an ABTÒ Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABTÒ Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABTÒ National Training Curriculum. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique.

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Alice Chase
Guest Artist

Alice Chase is a Rochester native who has been dancing and celebrating her love of the arts since the ripe young age of two. She primarily trained at Allegro School of Dance & Music, honing her skills in choreography and every genre from ballet to hip-hop through her senior year of high school. During her high school career she not only trained classically, but found a love for the competition and commercial world of dance. She attended many national competitions and was selected to travel with Dance Olympus (Dance America) Company as a junior faculty member, where she performed in cities all over the US and assisted workshops alongside world renowned choreographers. She then went on to pursue her BFA in Performing Arts (emphasis in Dance Theatre) at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and New York City. There she studied the industry and all genres of dance, as well as took full time courses in film, writing, acting, vocal techniques, and musical theatre. In addition to her training at AMDA, she had the opportunity to take classes bi-coastally at EDGE Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex, Broadway Dance Center, The Playground LA, and Evolution Dance. Alice is passionate about all things dance and loves to teach dancers of all ages (particularly in the contemporary and jazz genres).